The Hawaii Department of Education Leeward District Autism Project is a program which taps into a variety of processes to engage employees, bolster training networks and promote resilience.
Worker involvement is valued in this team, and at regularly scheduled meetings, members are encouraged to participate in brainstorming, problem solving, and strategizing program goals to continually improve outcomes.
Staff receive expenses to attend conferences, specialized training seminars, continuing education courses, and sabbaticals to empower them to continue developing their career goals.
Workers are formally recognized for their contributions at monthly staff meetings and e-mails, and are often recognized informally by the team leader for their resilience and commitment.
Speakers are brought in to discuss employee assistance resources, workplace issues and to reinforce the availability of a variety of agencies ready to assist workers with personal and professional challenges.
Career development is enhanced not just through training, but via yearly evaluations, upward mobility programs for Educational Assistants, in house training and professional development.
Members are afforded flexibility within the district to manage personal and professional objectives.
Moreover, the team leader endorses an open door policy, and alters her schedule as needed to mentor members on strategies, problem solving, personal goals, professional presentations and team activities.
Communication is key to the program’s fluidity. Staff meetings provide an opportunity to brainstorm work related issues, resolve interpersonal challenges and evaluate program effectiveness.